OF THE BABY NAME PEDRO
Don Pedro is one of the main characters in Shakespeare’s popular 1598/99 comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. He is a prince among men, both literally and figuratively. As a politically prominent figure, he exercises his social rights, and sets about marrying off his good friends, Benedick (to Beatrice) and Claudio (to Hero), often with unexpected results. At one point, he himself asks Beatrice to marry him, but she turns him down. Naturally, there is identity switching going on in all corners, all in the usual Renaissance notion of good fun. Ultimately, Don Pedro’s matchmaking endeavors pay off, and everyone pairs off happily - except – the prince himself! We might advise him to be a little more selfish next time, and don’t take “no” for an answer so easily. Why do the nice guys finish last?
Pedro Romero is a very attractive character in Ernest Hemmingway’s 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises, which was also made into a movie in 1957. He is a gifted young bull fighter with a passion for his chosen profession; he is beautiful both in and out of the arena. Everything that he does is done with grace and dignity, and he makes the expatriate Americans look foolish by comparison. He even gets the girl for a while (Lady Brett Ashley), but even she is moved to lofty heights of character by his person, choosing to leave him rather than be in any way responsible for ruining his career. Remember the Hollywood producer, Robert Evans? He played Pedro in the movie – that’s how good looking this guy is.
Don Pedro de Mendez is a minor but pivotal character in Jonathan Swift’s 1728 classic, Gulliver’s Travels. He is a sea captain who assists Gulliver in leaving the Island of the Houynhnms, and he does so in a spirit of generosity that is scarcely acknowledged by Gulliver. He brings the brooding Gulliver as far as Lisbon, providing him with passage, food, clothing and money, as well as a patient ear for Gulliver’s rantings and ravings. He stops Gulliver from committing suicide and he persuades him to honor his duty to return to his wife and children. What he gets in return is disdain and mulish behavior. It is often posited that Swift created Pedro de Mendez as a foil for Gulliver, as a shining example of the purity of action of which humans are capable, in stark contrast to the dire and cynical musings of Gulliver. We tend to agree.
Pedro is a character in Isabel Allende’s 1982 debut, best-selling novel, The House of the Spirits. His father, Pedro Segundo Garcia is the foreman of Esteban Trueba’s estate; his grandfather, Old Pedro Garcia is a wise old man who has long been a retainer on the estate. Pedro Tercero befriends Trueba’s daughter, Blanca, when they are children and becomes her lover and the father of her child when they grow up. He is a young revolutionary songwriter with dreams of social freedom for his country. Esteban Trueba considers him a communist and despises him for it. Furthermore, he is infuriated by Pedro Tercero’s relationship with his daughter, and tries to kill him. In a twist of fate, Pedro Tercero is placed in a position to later save Esteban’s life and Esteban arranges for the safe escape of his daughter and Pedro Tercero to Canada after the military coup in Chile. Throughout his life, he remains committed to his vision and devoted to Blanca, both of which endeavors bring him much sorrow and pain.